Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Ellery once again finds a dead body, this time while diving with his boyfriend, Chief Police Officer Jack Carson. The body is sealed into an old diving suit they find in a shipwreck. Then, Odette Wallace, a wealthy widow, hires Ellery to find out who is trying to kill her. Apparently, she's a big believer in the ability of amateur sleuths. Of course, the two mysteries are connected The mystery was interesting. Everyone on the island has an idea about who the man in the suit was, but no proof. Odette and the step-children are not the nicest people, and Ellery probably shouldn't have taken the case but he needs the money. Ellery figures out the solution in the end, just a step or two behind Jack. The wrap-up was a bit anti-climactic though. Ellery is his usual smart, but bumbling self. Jack is very competent, and to me his concerns regarding Elliott getting swept up in cases make sense. I...
Read More
The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei

The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kei

Kwan Chun-dok is a Honk Kong detective who sees clues and puts them together in ways no one else can. He's intelligent, resourceful, kind, and not afraid to go around the rules in trying to do his job. We first meet Kwan at the end of his career, the end of his life, as he helps solve one last case. The Borrowed is essentially made up of six novellas, six mysteries all connected by the main character and Hong Kong itself. We start in 2013 and work our way back to 1967. The mysteries are each well-done, intricate, and interesting and Kwan, or Sonny Lok, his apprentice for lack of a better word, solves them through clues and intuition. It's like Holmes stories, in that each solution when presented makes sense, but no one aside from Kwan could have gotten there. A couple of the stories have major twists that I didn't see coming. The book is also about Hong...
Read More
Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is the fifth in the series, but the first I've read. I never felt lost. The author did a good job of introducing the characters and giving me enough background to let me feel like I knew them well. At the same time, I might have cared more about the relationship between Lucy and her boyfriend, Azad, which took up a lot of the book. The mystery itself was well-done. The victim was not a nice person and there were plenty of suspects in town. Lucy had a reasonable reason to be investigating - one of her friends is the prime suspect. The clues were placed well, along with a few red herrings. The story started off well, but the middle was a bit too slow and plodding. I did have a guess who the killer was, so that might have been a bit too obvious since I'm rarely right. I think this is the last of...
Read More
A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas is the third in the Cass Peake series, but the first I've read. For me, it took a while to get all the characters straight, and I think if I had read the series in order, that wouldn't have been an issue. I also would have felt like I knew at least Cass and the other recurring characters, including Doris the ghost, better. Cass takes on the job of doing a new video for a local college and hires some young people to help her out. It's the holidays so the campus is pretty empty, making it easier to film locations, but while working, Cass and her crew stumble onto a murder. Her obligatory cop boyfriend, George, doesn’t like her getting involved, but Cass of course can't let it go, especially when a neighbor asks for her help. There's a lot going on here. We have the project for the local college; it's Christmas so Cass' brother...
Read More
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Wealthy, mean Simeon Lee has invited his family to spend Christmas. We've got 4 adult sons, three of whom have wives with them, and a granddaughter from Spain, an exotic young woman out of place in the traditional English setting. Simeon's goal, however, doesn't seem to be a happy family reunion. Instead, he is amusing himself by re-igniting all the old angers and rivalries. Of course, it's still a shock to them when he ends up dead, murdered in a locked room. Hercule Poirot's Christmas was another reread for me, and to be honest I'm surprised I didn't remember who the killer was. Poirot was staying with a friend in the neighborhood when the death was reported and agreed to help discover the killer. Of course, we've got plenty of motives, from hatred to money to diamonds, and everyone in the household is a suspect. I like how much even the most minor of the characters has their own personality. Each...
Read More
Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh

Tied Up in Tinsel was a reread for me. I always enjoy Marsh's mysteries and this is no exception. Troy is spending Christmas at Hillary's manor house, painting his portrait. We meet all the other guests and staff, most of whom were former convicts. And then, of course, someone is killed. Well, someone disappears, but this is a Marsh book, we know he's dead, it's just a matter of finding him. Alleyn of course comes to the house and takes over the investigation. Reading Tied Up in Tinsel is like spending the holidays with old friends. Honestly, murders at country houses during the holidays are my favorites. The house guests and staff are an eccentric lot and almost all could be considered suspects. There were also enough clues that we could put it together, which is not always the case when Alleyn is investigating. We don't always know what he's thinking or clues he notices. Maybe I'll go back and...
Read More